How did your fitness journey begin?
Nobody ever imagined I would become a bodybuilder growing up. Lots of bodybuilders start off as athletes, but not me, unless you consider chess a sport. I was a typical nerd who never missed a science fair. I won every year and went to state and nationals.
During the summer of my sophomore year at age 16, I felt a need to get active. I was aware of the importance of exercise, so I got a gym membership. I loved doing research and reading books, so I gathered as much information as possible on lifting weights (I weighed 120 pounds). Two months later, I reached 140 pounds without my body fat increasing. Genetics helped me build muscle at a fast rate.
After my dramatic increase in my lean body mass, I knew my body could grow more, and it has. I now weigh 161 pounds and continue to try and reach my maximum potential.
What workout regimen delivered the best results?
Everybody reacts differently to training. I found that going heavy (without sacrificing form) works best for me. I keep it between 8-15 reps. I hit back first and hardest because it's my lagging body part. Everyone should adjust his or her routine based on their needs. As Arnold said, the body is like a sculpture being molded. My arms are overpowering, so I don't train them as often. I do high intensity interval cardio daily for 20 minutes post-workout on the stairmaster. For abs, I pick one exercise at the end of every workout and do 3-4 sets to failure.
How did your passion for fitness emerge?
I love bodybuilding because I love science. I picked up a new hobby, but that doesn't mean I tossed my old one. I'm a proud nerd fascinated with bodybuilding. Many bodybuilders are different and come from various backgrounds. People on the outside see bodybuilders as stereotypical dumb meatheads, but there's much more to the sport. We are brought together by the love of hard work and self-improvement.
I'm currently a biology major at Texas A&M University and love how I can relate what I learn in class to my hobby because bodybuilding is about science. I enjoy doing research and learning new things. There's a plethora of information out there about bodybuilding and new discoveries and breakthroughs being made every day.
What/Who motivated you to be a fitness guru?
My biggest motivation comes from Dr. Layne Norton because the man is accomplished. Not many people can claim the success he achieved as a professional bodybuilder, powerlifter, and Ph.D. with honors.
Where did you go for inspiration?
Technology has come a long way. Thankfully, the greatest inspiration is only a click away. We all have days when we feel unmotivated, but a quick YouTube search for bodybuilding motivation will get anyone pumped to hit the gym. I also love listening to or reading speeches and articles by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
What are your future fitness plans?
My future bodybuilding plans are to keep improving my physique for myself and to step on stage again looking better than I did at my first show. I want to continue my education and go to graduate school so I can discover scientific breakthroughs that push the sport forward.
What is the most important fitness tip?
Do your research carefully because it's mostly "broscience." Make sure the information is legitimate before you change your diet or training. There's plenty of beneficial and great information out there, but there's also information lacking sufficient backing. The best sources are books and reputable sites like Bodybuilding.com.
Who is your favorite competitor?
I look up to IFBB pro Frank McGrath. He went through a horrible accident that almost killed him and ended his career, but he came back from it and kept doing what he loved.
How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?
Bodybuilding.com is the only place I purchase supplements. As a college student, money is tight and supplement stores are often overpriced, especially in college towns. Bodybuilding.com always has the best prices and deals. I love reading the articles and information on the site because it's backed with research.
Ahmed's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Till I Collapse" by Eminem
- "Lose Yourself" by Eminem
- "Hall Of Fame" by The Script (Feat. Will.i.am)
- "Hungry" by Rob Bailey & The Hustle Standard
- "Can't Be Touched" by Roy Jones